The “Solutions Day”, which concluded the thematic programming at COP27; witnessed the launch of four initiatives including Sustainable Urban Resilience for the Next Generation Initiative, Friends of Greening National Investment Plans in Africa and Developing Countries Initiative, Low Carbon Transport for Urban Sustainability Initiative and Global Waste Initiative 50 by 2050.
The Day’s agenda featured several sessions that drew attention to urbanization and climate change and ensuring that cities around the world are part of climate solutions to accelerate multi-level action and bolder leadership to meet our goal of 1.5 Celsius degrees target by 2030.
To this end, the COP27 Presidency, with the support of UN-Habitat, convened the first-ever Ministerial Meeting on Urbanization and Climate Change at a UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP). The Ministerial Meeting reinforced the commitment of the Paris Agreement and committed to accelerated climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation action and local climate finance, and focused on housing, urban development, and multi-level action in relation to climate change.
The Methane Ministerial Meeting
Almost a year after the initial launch of the Global Methane Pledge at COP26. The meeting highlighted the crucial efforts needed to address methane emissions. The Global Methane Pledge Energy Pathway provides an important platform for countries that have signed up to the pledge to share experiences and best practices, showcase commitments, and benefit from enhanced access to finance and technical support through bilateral and multilateral arrangements.
During the session, COP27 President H.E. Mr. Sameh Shoukry said: “Without fast, concrete, and concerted action to tackle methane emissions, achieving the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement will remain far from reach. The COP27 Presidency will continue to attract new signups and enhance the global collective effort to reduce methane emissions.”
Friends of Greening National Investment Plans in Africa and Developing Countries initiative.
The initiative was led by Egypt’s Ministry of Planning and Economic Development and supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The main aim of this initiative was shaping the process of planning and designing the economic policies in a special way not only considering the impact of climate change, but also quantifying the efforts made in mitigation and adaptation, identifying the gaps and support needed, and proposing a set of essential guidelines, criteria, and policy advice, to expedite the implementation of the UNFCCC, Paris Agreement and the NDCs. During the meeting, discussions regarding the need to re-define economic policies around factors that impact climate change, mitigation and adaptation toke place.
Low Carbon Transport for Urban Sustainability (LcO2TUS) initiative
Due to the urgent need to move away from the legacy ‘mode-first’ mindset, this initiative was held. It aimed to activate systemic change both to improve and decarbonize the urban mobility landscape. The initiative focused on enhancing access to low carbon and resilient urban mobility solutions and strengthening the foundational enablers of change as the first-order priorities. It was facilitated by SLOCAT and BCG and developed in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme the initiative will focus. To set sustainable low-carbon mobility as a top priority, LOTUS allows existing efforts to be scaled and replicated across geographies. COP27 President Shoukry said: “Decarbonizing the urban mobility landscape is a priority for the Presidency and featured prominently as one of our important discussions during the Sharm El Sheikh Implementation Summit. With over half of the world’s population living in cities, transportation makes up 37% of CO2 emissions from end‐use sectors. As urbanization accelerates in the global south, improving urban transport and mobility is becoming an increasingly salient lever to address the challenge of global emission.”
Sustainable Urban Resilience for the next Generation (SURGe) initiative
The initiative was launched by the COP27 Presidency, in collaboration with UN-Habitat and with the facilitation of ICLEI, SURGe to address numerous barriers limiting urban emissions reductions, adapting urban systems to climate change, and building urban system resilience. The initiative tracked buildings and housing, urban water, urban mobility, urban waste and consumption, and urban energy, supported by partnerships and collaborations with international organizations.
The COP27 Presidency spokesperson stated “Climate change and growing urbanization are intertwined megatrends. Sustainable urbanization is a critical piece of mitigation measures in the developing world where urbanization is most rapid. SURGe seeks to create a better, more sustainable, and stronger urban world aiming at net zero emissions and decarbonization. This initiative is another example of how COP27 is helping to bring partners together for implementation,”.
Global Waste Initiative 50 by 2050
The target of this initiative was to treat and recycle a minimum of 50% of the solid waste produced in Africa by 2050. It will leverage voluntary engagements from more than 180 countries internationally for Africa in order to achieve this goal. It is considered the first initiative of its kind that proposes a collaborative platform for all stakeholders included in waste management to address all solid waste types and contribute to an ambitious target at the scale of the African continent.
High-Level Closing Event on Global Climate Action, COP27 Action Agenda: Progress & Priorities by climate champions.
The UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, the COP27 Presidency and the Marrakech Partnership took stock of the contribution of non-State actors at COP27 with their Closing Event “COP27 Action Agenda: Progress & Priorities”. In the presence of the United Nations Secretary-General, it wrapped-up a two-week program of activities, which included the launch of the Sharm el Sheikh Adaptation Agenda and the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative. The event also featured reflections on the Global Climate Action Agenda from Parties.
COP27 Parties remain divided on a number of significant issues: António Guterres.
António Guterres, Sharm El-Sheikh – UN Secretary-General, stated that there is a remarkable breakdown in trust between North and South and between developed and emerging economies, with just 24 hours before the closure of the COP27. He also made his remarks stating that COP27 Parties “remain divided on numerous significant issues” as the loss and damage issue, achieving the goal of the 1.5 target and filling the emission gap, and climate finance. He added: “We are at crunch time in the negotiations. This is no time for finger-pointing. I am here to appeal to all parties to rise to this moment and the greatest challenge facing humanity”. He assured that parties should act in three areas. Firstly, and most effectively is by rebuilding trust by finding an ambitious credible agreement on loss and damage and financial support to developing countries. Moreover, parties should also “forcefully” address the huge emissions gap. He further called for pushing for a Climate Solidarity Pact. Finally, Guterres stressed the need for developed countries to deliver $100 billion in climate finance for developing nations.
Pakistan Prioritize Green Investment to Mitigate Climate Change Impacts: Ahsan Iqbal.
Pakistan’s Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal stated that promoting green investment in Pakistan was a top priority of the government to tackle the growing environmental issues. He stated that Pakistan was contributing with less than 1% to global warming but still, it was among the top seven countries which were vulnerable to climate change risks. This took place during the panel discussion at the launching of “Friends of Greening National Investment Plans in Africa and Developing Countries Initiative” on “Solutions Day” hosted by Minister for Planning and Economic Development Egypt Hala El-Said on the margins of COP27 Climate Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh. The minister said the government was taking steps to promote various sources of renewable energy including solar energy and it would discourage the use of fossil fuels for electricity production.
COP27 Set for Showdown After Draft Leaves Out Fossil Fuel Pledge.
Climate negotiators are on track to reject a proposal for a more sweeping plan to phase down fossil fuels, snuffing efforts by India and key developed nations to target oil and gas as well as coal in an overarching deal at COP27. The Egyptian presidency published the first draft of its so-called “cover decision” and largely kept last year’s pledge made at Glasgow to “accelerate measures towards the phase down of unabated coal power” and phase out fossil fuel subsidies. The draft, which is still subject to revision during the rest of the week, will come as a disappointment for countries who want a phase down of all fossil fuels, not just coal. India led the push, but received backing from the US, European Union and the UK.